Security and the benefits of loss prevention – Atlanta Georgia

Security and loss prevention have really become a partnership. In the past, loss prevention was more a security guard agency that helped control inventory shrinkage and prevent retail theft by providing an obvious and conspicuous presence.

Both security and loss prevention offer benefits to the retailer which may be experiencing a large amount of inventory shrinkage.

As an example, I had a store in a downtown, low income area which had been experiencing poor inventory results, lots of shoplifting and low employee morale. We had a loss prevention agent working the store, but because the shoplifting and other activities were so rampant, the loss prevention agent could not catch everyone or fix every issue. They needed help, they needed a new strategy. We looked at what else we could provide this store to help prevent shoplifting. Well, we knew the loss prevention agent was apprehending 3 to 5 customers a day for shoplifting. We also knew that for every shoplifter he stopped, even more got away. Employees working the store were overwhelmed with customer service and when witness to the shoplifters that got away; they felt as if the company didn’t care.

Our solution… provide the store with a uniformed security guard from open to close. Write post orders that both security and loss prevention could agree on. Now that security was uniformed and placed at the front of the store, he could help record activity and prevent retail theft by greeting customers as they enter and exit the store. Security was available to check out employee purchases as they were leaving the building, additionally, security and loss prevention worked to reduce inventory shrinkage and prevent shoplifting.

If your store is experiencing inventory shrinkage, or you are looking for better ways to prevent shoplifting and prevent retail theft, look into the benefits of security and loss prevention.

For more information about loss prevention security or retail loss prevention contact us at security and loss prevention or call 1.770.426.0547 – Atlanta Georgia

The business needs of security and loss prevention – Atlanta Georgia

Security and loss prevention. Is your business prepared?

Listen, there is a lot to think about when considering a security guard service or a loss prevention department in your stores.

Let me share a horror story about a security guard company that we decided to go with on “the cheap” so to say.

I was overseeing a metro area store with lots of foot traffic customers. Looking for new ways to prevent shoplifting, the company thought of hiring a security company. However, the store didn’t want to pay for a quality security company and decided to go with a sort of “fly by night” guard service. Additionally, they store requested an increase in coverage from the retail loss prevention services provided by the corporate office.

The retail loss prevention agents arrived to the store and worked their schedules and were productive, however, they weren’t available from opening to closing. The store, still in negotiations with the guard service company, needed help. They accepted the absolute cheapest guard service.

The company came in and worked the store. The first guard arrived and worked his shift, the second or relief guard arrived for his shift. The first guard made a comment about the punctuality of the relief guard and the two broke out in an all out fist fight in the store. The retail loss prevention agent on duty and the store manager ended up having to deal with the fight. On top of this, all of the customers standing around witnessed this and called 911. One guard was arrested. Now, the retail loss prevention and manager are witnesses and will be pulled away at a later date for court purposes.

What’s my point? Security and loss prevention are an important aspect of the retail world and to prevent shoplifting. However, trying to do things as inexpensively as possible is not always the solution.

For more information about loss prevention security or security and loss prevention contact us at retail loss prevention or call 1.770.426.0547 – Atlanta Georgia

What is Loss Prevention Security?


Although I get this question asked of me indirectly, it is an interesting question to me, “what is loss prevention security”?  Many retailers consider their burglar alarm as loss prevention security and it is to an extent, but only when the doors are closed, no one is in and the alarm is set.  That makes it more of a “loss alert” than prevention security.  The reality is most retail loss occurs during business hours.

The next most popular “I have loss prevention security” comment is in regards to their camera system. And again 99% of these systems are not actively in use for prevention.  Retail camera systems – CCTV surveillance for retail, are typically in “set it and forget it” mode.  In fact, most retailers never even check their recording device any more since DVRs will automatically overwrite recorded info firt in first out.  In other words, no one is sitting in front of the monitor watching the cameras during business hours in order to prevent theft.  The shoplifters know this by the way and couldn’t care less when they see cameras in place.

Maybe you think of a uniformed security guard as loss prevention security, which if they are actually trained on loss prevention and understand how to prevent and process theft, they are a good source of loss prevention security.  Trained people always trump installed systems.  However, very few retailers can afford 24 hour security personnel.

The best installed loss prevention security is active in nature like an EAS (electronic article surveillance) system.  Checkpoint Systems is the leading EAS installer and you will see their systems in store like Kohls, Target, Old Navy, Gap, CVS, Walgreens, Rite Aid and so on.  These are active systems because they alert the store employees immediately when theft is attempted.

Even then the systems full benefit will not be realized without good employee interaction.

For more info visit: loss prevention security 

Understanding differences in security and loss prevention

As a loss prevention professional I run into retailers and business owners on a regular basis who get a little confused about the differences between security and loss prevention.  These two areas work together and are typically different systems, and sometimes are the same thing.

Wiki defines loss prevention this way: “loss prevention (in some retailers known as asset protection) is a form of private investigation into larceny theft. The focus of such investigations generally includes shoplifting,package pilferage,embezzlement, credit fraud and check fraud. “Loss prevention” or “LP” is used to describe a number of methods used to reduce the amount of all losses and shrinkage often related to retail trade.

Usually when I introduce myself to a retailer they say “we have a security system”.  See the disconnect in the wiki definition and the response?  Security personnel or burglar alarms are tools used in a loss prevention plan to accomplish the goal of preventing theft.  You could say that these tools are the tactical side and the program is the strategic side.

Left alone with no one actively using these tactical tools, like a camera system, results are often minimal at best.  Camera systems do not deter amateur thieves because they know no one is constantly watching them, if they are even turned on.  Burglar alarms are not armed during business hours when shoplifters are active.  Employees know the systems from the inside and known how to defeat them.

Consider consulting a loss prevention security professional to get an assesment of your current situation and recommendations of how to position yourself to prevent theft both internal and external.

For more information visit:  security and loss prevention 


Retail Loss Prevention and Check Fraud – Atlanta Georgia

The scope of retail loss prevention can often be far reaching. Not only does it include preventing shoplifting and internal theft but, in an attempt to continually reduce shrink it often includes prevention of several kinds of fraud. One of the most common kinds of fraud out there today is check fraud. Advancements in technology and desktop publishing software have made it possible for would-be criminals to print their own checks or manipulate legitimate checks to their benefit.

There are several different kinds of check fraud. Those of us in retail loss prevention need to be aware of the different kinds so that we know what to look for. The first kind is forgery; this usually happens when a criminal steals a check, signs it, and then presents it for payment at a retail establishment. These individuals will usually use some sort of bogus identification or try to get away without showing any ID at all. The second kind of check fraud is counterfeiting; this is when a criminal uses desktop publishing equipment, scanners, high-speed printers, etc. to fabricate a completely false check.

Alteration is when an individual uses chemicals and solvents to remove or modify information on a legitimate check. This can be done to specific information on a check or to the entire document. The term ‘check kiting’ refers to the practice of opening accounts at two or more institutions and using “the float time” of available funds to create fraudulent balances. This type of fraud has become increasingly popular in recent years. Your retail loss prevention team should make themselves aware of all the types of fraud and stay abreast of new developments in order to properly combat the criminal element.

For more informationabout security and loss prevention or loss prevention security  contact us: retail loss prevention or call 1.770.426.0547 Atlanta Georgia

Proper Utilization of Security and Loss Prevention – Atlanta Georgia

Let’s face it, no matter where you’re at in this great country of ours there are certain places where security and loss prevention are a much higher priority than others. In high risk communities it is extremely important that you utilize both tiers properly in order to keep your shrink to a manageable level. Your standard security, usually a uniformed guard or mobile unit, is primarily a deterrent to theft. Even the most brazen thief will think twice about grabbing a handful of merchandise and making a run for the door if there’s an authority figure present to block his/ her path.

The purpose of loss prevention is to identify and eliminate the more clandestine thieves. These criminals make up the majority of the shoplifting community. Most shoplifters don’t want to be identified. Not because they fear prosecution (though I’m sure that must factor into their thinking at some point) but because being identified greatly reduces the opportunity for them to return and steal from you again. This is why your security and loss prevention must work closely together to identify would-be shoplifters and deter hardened criminals.

Security and loss prevention must also work together to in the same way to deter internal theft. Security bag checks and random searches are a great way to keep your employees on their toes. They know that you, the business owner or manager, are far too busy with other tasks to concentrate on them 24/7, but shrink reduction and theft deterrence is the sole purpose of security and loss prevention. Proper utilization of these 2 forces will go a long way to controlling and improving your bottom line.

For more information about loss prevention security or retail loss prevention contact us: security and loss prevention or call 1.770.426.0547 – Atlanta Georgia

Managing Your Security and Loss Prevention – Atlanta Georgia

I’ve been in the security and loss prevention field for a long time and still there are things that transpire in the confines of this profession that make me sit back and say “Really?” I was on my way into my local mall the other day, undoubtedly for something I didn’t really need, when I spotted a young man running full speed across the parking lot. Behind him was a member of mall security and loss prevention from one of the mall’s anchor stores. Now, everyone loves a good chase so I stood back and watched.

The young man weaved between a number of parked cars on his way through the parking lot then darted out into traffic, completely oblivious to his own peril. The two pursuers were hot on his heels the entire time. Finally, the store loss prevention officer tackled the assailant to the ground and the mall security officer pounced on him and put him in handcuffs. They yanked him to his feet and began walking him back towards the mall. On the way I observed as the loss prevention officer reached into the young man’s sweater and pulled out 2 music CD’s. My only thought at that point was “Really? All that for $30 bucks?”

A retailer can be held responsible for the actions of his employees, even his security and loss prevention staff. At any point during the above mentioned chase the assailant could have injured himself in any number of ways and, as unfair as it is, the retailer could have been held responsible for those injuries since at the time the assailant was being chased by one of the store’s agents. It is critical to send a message to shoplifters that crime will not be tolerated, however was the loss of that $30 worth the possible tens of thousands in lawsuits that they opened themselves up to in that situation? It is important to be aware of the law and possible liability that you as a company face in apprehending and detaining shoplifters. There are a number of rules, many of which vary from state to state, that your security and loss prevention staff need to be aware of.

For more information about loss prevention security or retail loss prevention contact us: security and loss prevention or call 1.770.426.0547 – Atlanta Georgia

Loss Prevention Security & Point of Sale – Atlanta Georgia

One of the most important parts of loss prevention security is what happens at the point of sale. It has become quite common in this day and age for a shoplifter to conceal a great deal of merchandise on their person, bags, and etc. then walk boldly up to the cash register and purchase a single item. This is almost always done in an attempt to allay suspicion. Your point of sale associates need to be mindful of this fact and aware of any bulges in clothing or abnormally stuffed bags. A thief will also often attempt to stash merchandise underneath shopping carts, out of view of the cashier. Cashiers should make it a regular practice to check the bottom of all shopping carts for this reason. 

            Point of sale is also where your loss prevention security will find a great deal of employee theft taking place. Whether it is someone taking money from the register, giving fake discounts or simply slipping extra merchandise to friends and family these actions all happen right at the point of sale. With all of this activity going on in one place how is your loss prevention security supposed to keep track of all of it? Well, there are 2 very simple tools that can make your life much easier. 

            First of all, you should have cameras facing each and every point of sale location. Keep these cameras in plain sight so the associates are aware that they are being watched. Second, utilize your register journal. This electronic journal that allows the loss prevention security to see a transaction as it is occurring live. Thus, it enables them to see if an item has been bagged and not rung in, if any voids have been made or any discounts have been taken on merchandise. Point of sale surveillance should always be a priority to your loss prevention security personnel. 

For more information about security and loss prevention and retail loss prevention contact us: loss prevention security or call 1.770.426.0547 – Atlanta Georgia

Profiling and Retail Loss Prevention – Atlanta Georgia

One of the most useful and frequently used tools in the world of retail loss prevention is profiling. Yeah, I said it, but before you start writing letters let me explain. These days we tend to associate the word “profiling” with negative discriminatory acts or stereotyping. However, the actual definition of profiling is: “Recording a person’s behavior and analyzing psychological characteristics in order to predict or assess their ability in a certain sphere or to identify a particular group of people”. In retail loss prevention the group of people we are trying to identify are shoplifters.

 If it’s 80 degrees outside yet an individual has just walked into your store wearing a long overcoat aren’t you going to watch him/ her? Guess what, you just profiled them. An individual carrying a large, nearly empty purse or backpack is often worth watching for no other reason. It’s not just physical characteristics either; a person’s attitude or behavior can also be profiled. If someone is nervous or fidgety and avoids contact with associates and other customers they are someone you should pay attention to. After all, it’s a department store. How nerve racking can picking out a pair of socks actually be?

Profiling is a great tool in retail loss prevention . However, you must be mindful that the temptation may exist to take it too far. At no time should it ever be acceptable to profile someone on the basis of their race, sex, age, creed or religion. Not only are these practices morally reprehensible, but they will open up your company to a number of lawsuits and probably lost revenue. When used properly profiling can be a great asset in your retail loss prevention efforts.

For more information about loss prevention security or security and loss prevention contact us: retail loss prevention or call 1.770.426.0547 – Atlanta Georgia

Loss Prevention Security and Your Business – Atlanta Georgia

Loss prevention security should be a priority to any business owner operating in today’s marketplace. Let’s face it: it ain’t all good. From 1948 until 2010 the United States unemployment rate averaged around 5.7%. That rate was last reported at 9.6% for the month of September. As it has always been, an increase in unemployment leads to an increase in overall crime and sooner or later that crime is going to come knocking at your door. What are you going to do about it?

My suggestion would be to develop a comprehensive loss prevention security plan and stick to it. No matter how big or small your business is you need some sort of a strategy for keeping your merchandise safe and out of the hands of shoplifters and not-so-honest associates. Whether you require a full blown DVR system and a 6-man loss prevention security staff or a simple static camera over the cash register, you need to be accurate in your risk assessment and employ the proper amount of security for your individual business needs.

Confused? Not sure exactly which is the best route for you and your company? The good news is that there is a plethora of information available to you if you’re willing to do the due diligence and research your options. On the other hand, my dad always said “Boy, if you don’t know, just ask somebody!” and there are a number of companies in business that are staffed with Loss Prevention professionals who can outfit your company with the proper equipment and knowledge to fit your needs… just ask. Loss prevention security a vital and necessary part of doing business today. Don’t wait until it’s too late.

For more information about retail loss prevention or security and loss prevention contact us: loss prevention security or call 1.770.426.0547